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Ebola and the Media – Negative Media Works

You may have seen Ebola in the media a lot lately and if you are on social media even more.

I wanted to write an article that chronicles the highest causes of death in the United States just to keep us grounded in data.  Here are some stats about what happens in a typical year in the U.S.  These are deaths from 2010 as recorded by the CDC.

  • Heart disease: 596,577
  • Cancer: 576,691
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 142,943
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 128,932
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 126,438
  • Alzheimer’s disease: 84,974
  • Diabetes: 73,831
  • Influenza and Pneumonia: 53,826
  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 45,591
  • Intentional self-harm (suicide): 39,518

When you look globally, those causes are still the main ones, with some shifting of what is #1, 2, etc…  I say all this, because I want everyone to take caution when reading all these negative news reports about Ebola or any issue.  Some of the articles are even false, because people want clicks to their websites.  If you just lump heart disease and Cancer together, we have over 1 million deaths a year in just the United States.  Remember most of the media (that includes online media) get paid by advertisers who pay for eye balls.  Unfortunately when media outlets have done testing, negative media far outperforms positive media on getting your attention.  Thus we get a lot of negative news.

The reality is we should always be prepared and we should be taking cautions in our home even for the flu in general.  Ebola is very serious and there are some basic items you should have to help keep your family protected against any type of flu or Influenza.  Here is what the CDC recommends to help protect yourself.

  • Wash hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.  This one is huge – Do it as soon as you walk through your door at home and even do this at work.
  • Avoid contact with blood and body fluids of any person, particularly someone who is sick.  You are not required to shake everyone’s hand or give them a huge, especially if they look sick.  That sick co-worker is not doing anyone any favors by toughing it out.
  • Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids.
  • Do not touch the body of someone who has died from Ebola.
  • Do not touch bats and nonhuman primates or their blood and fluids and do not touch or eat raw meat prepared from these animals.
  • Avoid hospitals in West Africa where Ebola patients are being treated. The U.S. Embassy or consulate is often able to provide advice on medical facilities.
  • Seek medical care immediately if you develop fever (temperature of 100.4°F/ 38.0°C or higher) and any of the other following symptoms: headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bruising or bleeding.
    • Limit your contact with other people until and when you go to the doctor. Do not travel anywhere else besides a healthcare facility.

These are pretty basic, be very careful around people who may be displaying flu like symptoms.  Probably most of us do this anyway, but this is a good time to take some extra precautions just in case.  Most of us who read these types of articles are preppers in one way or another and being safe is part of being a prepper.  Whether we are preparing for retirement or protecting our family, there are things we can do all to be more cautious.

Finally here is some helpful information on the symptoms of Ebola also published by the CDC.

Symptoms of Ebola include

  • Fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F)
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)

Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days.

Recovery from Ebola depends on good supportive clinical care and the patient’s immune response. People who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years.

Ebola is scary stuff with a high mortality rate and no vaccines available yet, but don’t let the news agencies and online community cause more panic than what is real.  It may very well become a big issue, but it has not yet and we have to hope the medical professionals and governments take the right next steps.

We can also take the right steps at home to limit our chances of contracting Ebola or any other flu type virus.  I am not a doctor or nurse (nor do I play one on television), so if you have specific questions, you should contact your physician for the best and most up to date answers.

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